Articulation of Vision, Mission and Values


Department of Health (DH)


At the end of 1997, the Dental Service (DS) of DH developed its VMV. A series of specially structured HRM workshops were conducted to equip managers with the knowledge and skill required to manage and motivate staff and to incorporate the newly developed VMV into the work culture of the DS.


In February 1998, twenty Senior Dental Officers with potential to act as HRM trainers participated in a one-day workshop to have better understanding of HRM concepts and to familiarize themselves with the standard training package used by the civil service. After the workshop, the participants further took part in a 2-day "train the trainers" course. This workshop helped equip the staff to act as competent HRM trainers and also provided opportunity for the management to identify suitable candidates to be responsible for developing the DS's own HRM training programme.

Eight trainers were selected. Together with the senior management, they made preparations for a series of HRM workshops for all middle managers in the DS. A tailor-made programme was developed incorporating the new VMV and using the experience gained during a Dental Service Strategic Management Workshop held in the previous year.

To enable the participants of the HRM workshops to be familiar with the VMV, the DS also launched a VMV publicity campaign prior to the workshops. The VMV of the service was introduced to all staff through a series of games and competitions.

From August 1998 to February 1999 eight workshops were held for 173 middle managers in the DS. The workshops were conducted by the eight trained Senior Dental Officers using the programme they developed. The senior management in the DS was involved in all the workshops.


Overall, the staff have gained a better understanding of HRM and how to put HRM into practice. The trainers gained valuable experience and insight into HRM and its application in dental clinic settings. This group of staff is now helping the DS in its implementation of HRM.


Immigration Department


Since 1995, the Immigration Department has developed a HRM plan with a view to identifying the department's VMV, and most important of all, the future strategic direction. Owing to resources constraint and as an effective approach, it was decided that a driver programme approach should be adopted for implementation of the HRM plan. Two driver programmes, namely 'articulation of vision, mission and values' of the department for various levels of staff and promotion of a more positive 'organisation culture', were implemented.


The programmes included the following activities -

(a) HRM seminars

Directorate and senior officers were arranged to attend seminars which aimed at applying the concepts of HRM in better customer service through more effective people management. Briefing sessions were also conducted for these senior officers to explain to them details of the devised HRM plan and steps for implementing the driver programmes.

(b) Value Ownership Workshops

Sessions of Value Ownership were organized for the middle managers to further articulate the department's VMV statements and to make them more aware of the departmental strategic direction on HRM. Attendees were also tasked to sharing the rationale of the departmental VMV with their subordinates when they returned to their offices.

Workshops were then organized for the working levels to enable them to understand, share and consequently participate actively towards achieving the departmental VMV.

(c) Departmental Value Interpretation Campaign

Following a series of workshops, a departmental Value Interpretation Campaign was run to instil the departmental VMV statements among staff of all levels by asking them to translate the departmental values into operational behaviour and service standard, which were subsequently put into practice.


A clear and inspiring vision has been set for staff at all levels towards the fulfillment of the departmental goals, which in turn has guided their behaviour and actions when dealing with members of the public. As a result, staff have become more positive and heart-driven for their work, hence enhancing their productivity.

From 1996 to 1998, there has been an upsurge in passenger traffic of about 16% from 99.74 million to 115.48 million while the strength of the department was contained at more or less the same level. Against all these, the department succeeded in maintaining its performance pledge of clearing at least 92% of the arriving passengers and 100% of the departing passengers within 30 minutes even at peak hours.

The number of appreciations received from members of the public has increased from 227 in 1996 to 469 in 1998. On the contrary, the number of complaints received in the years has dropped from 291 to 217 respectively.

For the management, the HR programmes implemented have provided norms that guided desirable management practices. More open communication among members of the department, both vertically and horizontally, has been promoted to maintain a positive and effective working relationship.


Legal Aid Department (LAD)


Although LAD has implemented Service Quality Improvement to re-engineer the legal aid applications and case monitoring processes at the end of 1996, the top management realized that process improvement alone was not adequate in achieving its departmental objective in the long run. They need a culture change which would transform the department into a customer-driven and result-oriented organisation. The development of VMV was considered to be necessary.


At the development stage, input from various levels was solicited. A department-wide VMV campaign was organized to collect staff opinion. Senior management staff were interviewed for their views on strategic issues facing the department. A workshop for the management was conducted to formulate the VMV.

Before the draft VMV was communicated to the staff, the senior management developed role models of the core values and incorporated these values into their day-to-day work. The draft VMV was published through newsletters and formal/informal communication sessions were conducted by managers to introduce the VMV, explain the reason for the development of VMV and process of development, and collect feedback. The draft VMV was also distributed to other key stakeholders concerned for comment. The statement was then refined subsequent to reviewing feedback from staff and stakeholders.

To maintain the momentum of the project, a number of promotion campaigns were also launched, including newsletters, change of departmental logo, and VMV posters, plague and stationery.

When the senior management and staff were beginning to "live" the values of the department as well as the key operational improvement in application was ready for launch, the VMV statement was published on LAD's newsletter, together with a number of major announcements on service performance to illustrate that the vision was put into practice.


The VMV has defined the department's purpose and direction, and identified the core values which guided the actions and behaviours of the staff. The management staff have developed a leadership style consistent with the core values of the department. In respect of staff, there was very little resistance in implementing the major process and organisation change. Specifically, they were receptive of significant change in their job contents which demanded multi-skilling, high responsiveness to customers' requests and accountability for performance.

Inspired by the vision and committed leadership, majority of the organisational and process changes were put in place smoothly within three months with desired performance results achieved. Achievements were reflected in savings of staff time, better customer service, shortened application processing time and drop in outstanding cases. The performance in all the five major service areas has exceeded the performance targets pledged by more than 10% during the period from November 1997 to December 1999.


Social Welfare Department (SWD)


In order to shape up HRM practices of the department, SWD formulated a HRM Plan in July 1998. A Steering Committee on HRM, chaired by the Director of Social Welfare, was set up to map out the strategy and oversee the implementation of HRM improvement initiatives. The Steering Committee decided that the cultivation of an appropriate organisation culture, to which the development and promotion of departmental VMV are integral, should be the first HRM driver programme.


A working group, led by an Assistant Director, was set up to spearhead the task involved. As "staff ownership and commitment" was the key to a successful organisation cultural change, the department subscribed to the following principles when developing its departmental VMV -

Following the principle of all-staff involvement, the Working Group published a VMV Consultation Booklet to all staff members. The booklet served the purpose of -

The following complementary activities were implemented -


The various promotion activities provided channels for staff to express their comments and views about the department and their job. Staff opinion collected during the process also helped the department to better formulate its HRM implementation plan. For example, based on staff opinion that internal communication needed improvement, the management subsequently introduced both formal (setting up a Headquarters/Regional meeting to facilitate more direct communication between Headquarters policy makers and district operation managers) and informal (directorate officers' goodwill visits to show care and concern to front-line colleagues) measures to enhance internal communication.

Being involved right from the very beginning of developing the departmental VMV, many Unit Heads were well prepared to support the translation of the ideals encapsulated in the VMV Statement into operational behaviour.


Human Resource Management Good Practices

Articulation of Vision, Mission and Values

Human Resource Management Plan

Manpower Planning

Performance Management

Training and Development

Service Quality Enhancement

Contact Persons for the Cases Listed in this Publication


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